Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And then the rain came

October 29, 2012 -
Last year, most of us on the East Coast were battening down the hatches, waiting for Sandy to hit landfall.



By the next day, New York harbor had risen to over 13 feet at the Battery, over two million New Yorkers has lost power, and 44 New Yorkers had lost their lives.


October 29, 1977 -
Rhoda
and Joe got married on this date.



It's such a shonda that it didn't last.


October 29, 1993 -
Tim Burton's
Halloween animation fantasy, The Nightmare Before Christmas, went into general release in US theaters on this date.



Tim Burton has said the original poem was inspired after seeing Halloween merchandise display in a store being taken down and replaced by a Christmas display. The juxtaposition of ghouls and goblins with Santa and his reindeer sparked his imagination.


Today in History :
October 29, 1618
-

Yesterday (back in 1618), Sir Walter Raleigh was a fairly forgotten figure in England History. Sir Walter, famous explorer and favorite of Queen Elizabeth I had been languishing in prison for years on some murky charges of plotting against King James I. He was left to languish in the Tower of London until 1616. While imprisoned, he wrote many treatises and the first volume of The Historie of the World, about the ancient history of Greece and Rome. His son Carew was conceived and born while Raleigh was legally 'dead' and imprisoned in the Tower of London (1604).



In 1616, Sir Walter was released from the Tower of London in order to conduct a second expedition to Venezuela in search of El Dorado. In the course of the expedition, Raleigh's men, under the command of Lawrence Keymis, sacked the Spanish outpost of San Thome on the Orinoco. During the initial attack on the settlement, Raleigh's son Walter was struck by a bullet and killed. On Raleigh's return to England, the outraged Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, the Spanish ambassador, demanded that King James reinstate Raleigh's death sentence. The ambassador's demand was granted.



Raleigh was beheaded at Whitehall on this date in 1618. "Let us dispatch," he asked his executioner. "At this hour my ague comes upon me. I would not have my enemies think I quaked from fear." After he was allowed to see the axe that would behead him, he mused: "This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all diseases and miseries". It's been said that Sir Walter final words (as he lay ready for the axe to fall) were: "Strike a match man, strike!"



The corpse was to be buried in the local church in Beddington, Surrey, the home of Lady Raleigh. "The Lords," she wrote, "have given me his dead body, though they have denied me his life. God hold me in my wits". After Raleigh's execution, his head was embalmed and presented to his wife. She carried it with her in a velvet bag until she decided she didn't like the smell.

Gentlemen, remember either to keep your head firmly in place upon your death or ask your wife to invest in a lot of room deodorizer.


October 29, 1891 -
Your audience gives you everything you need. They tell you. There is no director who can direct you like an audience.



Fanny Brice, popular and influential American comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress and entertainer, was born on this date..


October 29, 1899 -
Akim Tamiroff
, Georgian born actor (was the first Golden Globe Award-winning actor for Best Supporting Actor) was born on this date.



While Tamiroff may not be a household name in the present day, his malapropistic performance as the boss in The Great McGinty inspired the cartoon character Boris Badenov,



the male half of the villainous husband-and-wife team Boris and Natasha on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.


October 29, 1901 -
Leon Czolgosz
was convicted and sentenced to death for the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley on September 23, 1901 in a brief trial that lasted eight and a half hours from jury selection to verdict. Upon returning to Auburn Prison, he asked the Warden if this meant he would be transferred to Sing Sing to be electrocuted and seemed surprised to learn that Auburn had its own electric chair.

He was executed by electrocution, by three jolts at 1700 volts each, on October 29, 1901, in Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York. His brother Waldek and his brother-in-law Frank Bandowski were in attendance, though when Waldek asked the Warden for his brother's body to be taken for proper burial, he was informed that he "would never be able to take it away" and that crowds of people would mob him, so the body had to be buried on prison grounds.



His last words were "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people - the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."  As the prison guards strapped him into the chair, however, he did say through clenched teeth, "I am sorry I could not see my father." Sulfuric acid and lye were thrown into his coffin so that his body would be completely disfigured, and to aid in its decomposition. His letters and clothes were burned.

The scene of the crime, the Temple of Music, was torn down in November 1901. A stone marker in the middle of Fordham Drive, a residential street in Buffalo today marks the approximate spot where the event occurred. Czolgosz's revolver is on display at the Pan-American Exposition exhibit of the Erie County Historical Society in Buffalo.


Today is the anniversary of Black Tuesday, the stock market crash in 1929 that signaled the beginning of the worst economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world. Few people saw it coming except for Joseph P. Kennedy and Charlie Chaplin who had cashed out of the volatile market weeks early and preserved their fortunes. The stock market had been booming throughout the 1920s. Brokerage houses had been springing up all over the country, to take advantage of everyone's interest in investment. There were stories about barbers, messenger boys and prostitutes who'd gotten rich off of overheard stock tips. Americans who ordinarily couldn't afford to invest their money were taking out loans to buy stock so they wouldn't miss out (shades of the sub prime mortgage market.)

The front-page story in The New York Times on the next day read, "Wall Street was a street of vanished hopes, of curiously silent apprehension and of a sort of paralyzed hypnosis. Men and women crowded the brokerage offices, even those who have been long since wiped out, and followed the figures on the tape. Little groups gathered here and there to discuss the fall in prices in hushed and awed tones."

The stock market didn't do so well in September of 1929, but nobody really noticed anything was wrong until October 23, when 2.6 million shares were sold in the closing hour of trading. It looked as though the selling would continue on Thursday, October 24, but a group of the most influential American bankers in the country pooled their money and began to buy up the declining stocks, supporting the market. By the end of that day it seemed like everything would be all right.



But on this day in 1929, the bottom fell out of the market. Three million shares were sold in the first half-hour. Stock prices fell so fast that by the end of the day there were shares in many companies that no one would buy at any price. The stocks had lost their entire value.



It was the most disastrous trading day in the stock market's history (until now). The stock market lost $30 billion dollars, more than a third of its value, in the next two weeks.


October 29, 1964 -
The Star of India, the famous golf-ball-sized stone was stolen, along with several other stones including the Eagle Diamond and the deLong Ruby from the American Museum of Natural History, in NYC, on this date. The thieves unlocked a bathroom window during museum open hours, climbed in that night, found that the sapphire was the only gem in the collection protected by an alarm -- and the battery for that was dead. So they raked up the stones, and fled the same way they came in.



Within two days, the notorious cat burglar, smuggler, and one-time surfing champion Jack Murphy (known as Murph the Surf) was arrested along with two accomplices, later receiving a three-year sentence. The uninsured Star of India was recovered in a locker in a Miami bus station. However, the Eagle diamond was never recovered.


October 29, 1969 -
The first computer-to-computer message transmission (ARPANET), the basis of today's internet, was established between UCLA and Stanford on this date. (thank you Jim)

Apparently, the two computers were looking for porn.


Before I let you go - Sesame Street has come out with a new parody - this time a parody of the series Homeland called, Homelamb



The Big Bad Wolf is on the lamb - I'm not really sure this was for kids.



And so it goes

2 comments:

Jim Haas said...

Stanford, the University in Palo Alto named for the rapacious land baron Leland Stanford. Not Stamford, the city in Connecticut, named for some obscure English village.

Kevin said...

Yes, you're right. It was a typo (fat fingers.) Leland's wife Jane was poisoned in 1905 (probably with the help or at least knowledge of Stanford University President David Starr Jordan)